this is a #repost from last year. these thoughts seem even more pressing a year later and with our current political situation. the only thought i’d revise is in regards to calling out untruth. i’d say emphatically that we MUST call it out AND then not just stay there, but be the vehicles of change and healing we need.~j
“15 years ago the soul of this country received a shocking wound. the sky faded dark under ash, confusion and fear. the rug pulled out from under us. and in such a horrific moment we rose. the best of people rose to the surface wading through tears and differences.
it was a shift and an opportunity to stay with the rawness, the tenderness we felt, the feelings that inspired and motivated a sense of connection and community.
but we have forgotten, as we often do, save for special anniversaries set aside to remember. each of those, a chance to start fresh yet again…only to forget again. “never forget, never again” is fine and well, but let’s really mean it and make it so through our own hearts, words and actions. that’s where the work is that needs to be done, that’s where the real change will begin.
there seems to be more fear and anxiety today and it is stoked by those who would seek gain from this suffering. this has only led to further division.
as we have seen, just naming it or calling it untruth and getting into a battle of words simply leads to more suffering and seems to evoke little or no change.
it is time for a shift. we, each of us, needs to answer the call to heal. using our words, our actions, our very lives to bring benefit to a world thirsty for an end to such suffering. we need to be healers, to be bodhisattvas, shining a light on the alternatives to fear and anxiety, to anger and hate, to division, cynicism, conspiracy and demagoguery, aggression and violence.
this is a journey of heart and mind, so these are what we need to work with.
let’s get to work. ~j
#Sept11th #September11th #16thAnniversary #shift #healers #bodhisattvas #community #sangha #interdependence #light #life #MedicineBuddha #meditation #JMWart
in the thick of things, the darkness and difficulty, don’t forget who you are. you are Love, luminous and open.meet life with empathy, with compassion, and the steady, purposeful, and unshakable strength that comes from being grounded in Love.
[…if you want a master class in what happens when we allow our wounds to close up and drag us into a bitter anger, and then what happens when this is met with empathy, compassion, and courage, watch the end scenes of Moana. be a healer. meet life with empathy, compassion and courage grounded in Love.]
The other person is not our enemy.
Our enemies are misunderstanding,
discrimination, violence, hatred,
Thich Nhat Hanh
I love this teaching. It is deceptively challenging. On the face of it, most would probably agree (though some may not). However, when put into practice, I think most of us will find we fall short of honoring these wise words.
In a time such as now, when so much feels at stake and emotions are heightened (and for good reason), the easier path is to assign blame to one person or a group of people and go in for the kill. It is easier to have a face to direct our anger, our grief, our confusion. It even feels good! However good this feels in the short term, and however much it may motivate and seem to contribute to a resolution, in the long run it remains a delusion and contributes to cyclical suffering, fueling the very enemies we are working to defeat.
We will only be successful in our struggle, in this movement, when our motivation to act is fueled by a fierce compassion, born of a love that seeks the end of suffering for all beings, even those who act in harmful ways and contribute to the suffering we are fighting to liberate from.
This is the challenge of our time. In an era where we seek targets to blame and scapegoats for our suffering, can we with fierce compassion, work for the very solid cause of defeating fascism, defeating racism, defeating homophobia and transphobia, defeating policies that dismiss the poor, the sick, the elderly? Can we do this without demonizing individuals, even as we tirelessly work for their removal from positions of power, and work against the harmful policies and suffering their ideology causes? Buddhism and other contemplative practices say we can. And in fact, when we do we are honoring our true nature and not adding to the suffering. When we act out of fierce compassion, born from love, we upend the true enemies we seek to defeat: confusion, discrimination, violence, hatred, and anger. And in doing so, we are planting seeds toward the long arc, contributing to the end of suffering for all people. Then we are acting as bodhisattvas in this world. And this world, especially now, needs as many bodhisattvas as it can get.
We begin with our own hearts.
a little late, but…
May The Fourth Be With You!
much needed after today, here are some favorite Force and wisdom quotes from Star Wars:
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi
“Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” ~ Yoda
“Close your eyes. Feel it. The light…it’s always been there. It will guide you.” ~ Maz Kanata
“I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me.” ~ Chirrut Imwe
“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” ~ Yoda
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” ~ Yoda
“To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.” ~ Yoda
doing lovingkindness meditation today for so many at the receiving end of horrific violence including Egypt today, and Syria. sitting with the darkness of such anger and violence, in contrast to the Palm Sunday message of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on the humble donkey as a prince of peace, as opposed to a king of war.
the transformative message of the deep and lasting power (love) present in openness and vulnerability – seemingly powerlessness – is still waiting to take hold. it has to take hold in each of our hearts first…
#LovingKindness #metta #meditation #love #vulnerability #peace #PalmSunday #Jesus #war #violence #anger #darkness #light #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds
For those of us in the LGBTQ community, for people of color, for Muslims, for the differently abled, for women, for the immigrant, and for anyone else who feels a sense of being the “other” or oppressed, the results of this election may feel frightening and concerning. Our hearts broken, vulnerable, and tender.
Stay with this.
STAY with this. Do not cover it up, do not hide from it, do not run from it. There is no need to pretend.
This brokenness, this vulnerability, this tenderness of heart, IS our strength and our power.
It is the same strength and power imbued and made manifest throughout history by artists, peacemakers, spiritual warriors, and lovers. This is what the world needs right now. Perhaps, more than ever.
For those of us who are LGBTQ – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are people of color – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are Muslim – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are women – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are immigrants – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are differently abled – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those whom I may not understand, who may hold opposite views (even views I consider harmful), who also seem to be feeling frightened, disenfranchised, and angry – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
The road ahead will surely be work. Perhaps, very difficult to work. But I vow to continue to work in service of the values and principles that define my life, my art, my writing, my spiritual practice.
I vow to continue to work in service of the same values and principles that moved me to vote for whom I continue to believe is the most qualified and representative candidate.
I vow to continue to work in service of all that speaks to the best of who we are and can be.
I vow to continue to work in service of all that opens hearts, nurtures kindness, motivates fierce compassion, elevates the “other”, and opens doors to the immigrant – the hungry -the poor.
I vow to continue to work in service of all that produces dialogue, civility, nonaggression and nonviolence.
This is what I can do, what WE can do, no matter who is President or who is in Congress or who is on the Supreme Court.
This world desperately needs healers, lovers, peacemakers – bodhisattvas.
Will we hear the cries of the world and answer the call?